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Liddy: AIG's Financial Products Division Kept Out Company's Risk Managers

6:11 P.M.: UPDATED:

AIG chief executive Edward Liddy said moments ago that AIG's risk-managers were "generally not allowed to go into Financial Products."

Translation: AIG's Financial Products division -- the unit that sold more derivatives than AIG could back, nearly bringing down the company -- was not subject to AIG's own in-house risk-management scrutiny.

Had Financial Products allowed the company's risk managers into the books, the high-risk practices may not have been allowed.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has called AIG's Financial Products division a "hedge fund attached to an insurance company."

More and more, it's looking like a rogue state.

Liddy: AIG Will Have To Change Name

5:39 P.M.: Liddy said moments ago that the corporate name AIG is "so wounded" it will have to be changed.

AIG is a holding company with a number of companies under it.

Liddy pointed out that some nomenclature change is already under way: AIG's American International Underwriters is going back to being called AIU. The other subsidiaries will also likely go back to their original names, rather than carrying the poison AIG moniker.

When Enron thought it could emerge from its scandal as a pipeline company, the company said it would change its name, which had become synonymous with scandal. The Houston Astros even dropped the company's name from its ballpark.

Now, however, Enron is known as Enron Creditors Recovery Corp., proving that it's hard to kill a scandal.

Committee In Recess

3:27 P.M.: Liddy gets a one-hour breather during his testimony before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services committee. Members have recessed until about 4:15 p.m. to go to the floor to vote.

Rep. Lynch Berates Liddy

3:11 P.M.: Liddy just got the slap-around that many were hoping for during his Hill testimony today.

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) read from AIG's performance bonus guidelines and accused "you" -- and here, he presumably meant all AIG executives, past and present -- of "immunizing yourselves against the stupidest decisions made by AIG."

Lynch argued that top AIG executives got bonuses whether or not their company performed well.

"This is like the captain and crew of ship reserving the life boats, saying 'To hell with the passengers; we're going to take the lifeboats for ourselves,' " Lynch thundered.

"Do you have anything to say for yourself," Lynch concluded.

Liddy pushed back, saying: "Yes, I do. You have generously used the word 'you' in this construct," and then went to point out that the contracts that awarded the bonuses were written before he took over AIG, at the government's request, for $1 per year in salary.

Further, Liddy said, had he been the chief executive AIG when those contracts were written, they would have looked differently or not existed at all.

"I take offense..." Liddy began.

But Lynch interrupted, saying, "Offense was intended. You take it rightfully, sir."

Liddy: Most Bonuses Would Not Have Been Paid If AIG Declared Bankruptcy

2:49 P.M.: Liddy just told a House panel that, had AIG gone into bankruptcy, the much-reviled $165 million in executive bonuses probably would not have been paid.

Liddy noted that a judge would have decided which executives were worth keeping -- and gotten a retention bonus -- and which weren't, but that the underlying contracts awarded those bonuses "would have been voided."

That added fuel to a fire that Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) is building on the panel to push AIG into receivership, or bankruptcy. He said that Liddy had told the Fed Reserve a month ago that if AIG went into receivership, taxpayers would have been saved the most recent $30 billion promised AIG and the $165 million in bonuses.

Liddy has noted that the retention bonuses are paid at the end of an employee's tenure. His example: Employees of AIG's Financial Products unit that nearly caused the company's meltdown got a retention bonus if they have stayed on to adequately wind down their area of the business, which also eliminates their job. In other words, if they stayed to do the dirty work rather than bolting for a rival.

Liddy told Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) that he would be proud of AIG employees.

"Not right now," Capuano snapped back.

Liddy: I Fear For the Safety Of My People

2:07 P.M.: Liddy said that he doesn't want to reveal the names of AIG employees who did not give back their bonuses because "I'm just really concerned about their safety."

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) asked Liddy to hand over the names of the employees. If he doesn't, Frank said he will subpoena them.

Liddy said he wants to comply and would turn over the names if he could be assured they wouldn't be made public.

He then read two comments apparently from disgruntled Americans threatening physical violence against AIG executives and their families, included a threat of strangulation by "piano wire."

Frank said that if "we give into these threats" Congress would never get the information it wants. Nevertheless, he said he would consult with police and other security officials before issuing a subpoena.

Liddy Outlines AIG 'Exit Strategy'

1:54 P.M.: Liddy laid out what he called AIG's exit strategy as he testifies before a House Financial Services subcommittee: Sell what it can sell -- the company has put two of its Manhattan buildings up for sale. The bad assets it can't sell, put in a "ring fence" trust to protect the good assets from getting poisoned.

The ring-fenced assets will be given to the Fed as payment of AIG's debt and then would be sold off later if the markets return.

Liddy: I've Asked Employees To Give Back Half Of Bonuses

1:43 P.M.: Liddy just told members of the House panel that he has asked AIG employees in the Financial Products division that received the much-reviled recent bonuses to give back at least half of the bonuses.

The give-back is targeted at employees who got more than $100,000 in bonuses, Liddy said. He added that some have already stepped forward and given back their entire bonus.

"I have asked employees of Financial Products to step up and do the right thing," Liddy said.

Even before he could start testifying, Liddy got a lecture on contract law from former lawyer, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.), chairman of the House Financial Services subcommittee that is grilling Liddy.

Kanjorski noted that sometimes "insurance companies take the position of not paying until they are sued," and said that's what Liddy should have done instead of paying out the much-discussed $165 million on bonuses recently revealed to at least 73 employees.

"There were other alternatives at hand" than "rushing" to pay the bonuses," Kanjorski said. "One of the last was the denial of the right of payment and the simple words, 'Sue us.' "

S&P: We Started Downgrading AIG In 2005

11:26 A.M.: The Standard & Poor's executive in charge of issuing credit ratings on AIG started downgrading the insurance giant in 2005, he testified moments ago before a meeting of a subcommittee of the House Financial Services committee.

Rodney Clark, the managing director of S&P's ratings group, said that his company downgraded AIG four times since 2005 because of perceived trouble brewing with the credit default swaps sold by AIG's Financial Products division, which would likely have brought down the company had it not been for $173 billion in government bailout money.

AIG carried an AAA rating from S&P for many years, Clark said, but if the insurance giant were not propped up by the government right now, it would have a BB- rating, or junk.

Lawmakers Beat Up On AIG

10:55 A.M.: Lawmakers are using their opening statements to log their outrage (word of the week) over AIG as they prepare to hear testimony from AIG's chief executive Edward Liddy later this morning, during a meeting of a subcommittee of the House Financial Services committee.

"There is a tidal wave of rage building across America," said Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), whose name might well be "Whackerman" the way he's lit after witnesses from the financial sector in recent months. "The taxpayer knows they are the ultimate sucker on the list who pays for all the greed that has been going on in marketplace for years and years."

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) repeated his call to bring AIG into government receivership and said Congress would not have approved the most recent $30 billion government bailout to AIG had it known about the $160 million in bonuses AIG recently awarded.

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) turned his ire on the regulators and ratings agency representative set to testify before Liddy takes his turn.

"Where were you or your agency or you sister agencies?" Capuano asked. "How did we get here?" Capuano said he wanted to know if taxpayers will ever see their money back.

Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) simply said that AIG stands for "arrogance, incompetence and greed."

Liddy: Bonuses Are 'Distasteful'

9:43 A.M.: AIG chief executive Edward Liddy, set to testify this morning before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services committee, says "AIG has recently made a set of compensation payments, some of which I find distasteful," according to his testimony.

Liddy is referring here to the more than $160 million in bonuses recently revealed that were given to executives -- some of which worked at AIG's Financial Products division, whose risky behavior hurt the company. Some of the bonuses were retention bonuses, and they were paid to 11 AIG executives who are no longer with the company.

Liddy largely defends the bonuses, saying they are part of doing business and competing for customers, revenues and employees.

Liddy further says: "When a financial calamity of the kind that hit AIG strikes, the only possible response is to roll up your sleeves, acknowledge the mistakes of the past, correct those mistakes and move forward -- exactly what AIG's employees have been doing," according to his testimony.

You can read his full testimony here.

You can read Liddy's opinion column in today's Washington post here.

Liddy says that AIG's Financial Products division, which nearly brought down the company by selling risky derivatives, forcing $173 billion worth of government bailout, was "an internal hedge fund, which then became substantially overexposed to market risk."

Liddy's testimony includes pages and pages of appendixes that lay out AIG's financial situation in graphic form and a good paragraph-form summary of "What happened?" from the company's perspective.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  March 18, 2009; 6:11 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: AIG, Edward Liddy  
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Comments

Yes, one would think, to hear him talk, that AIG and its brain trust was an innocent bystander instead of the architect of the calamity they have already gained so much from. Just a little more juice and I'm sure they will have it all fixed.

Posted by: SarahBB | March 18, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Crocodile tears. Put them all in jail.

Posted by: Blue_Moose | March 18, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The point is often made that bonuses are a tiny sum compared to the banks' debts. But I think this misses the key point that bonuses are fundamental to the disaster that has struck Wall Street.

Employees receive performance bonuses for any profit they make - but there is no corresponding salary cut for any losses they make. Therefore, there is absolutely no disincentive to taking extremely risky positions in the hope of maximising profit. Bonuses incentivised unacceptable risk-taking.

Paulson himself has pointed this out.

The whole bonus structure has to change. It has to be changed from the outside, by legislation, or this will happen again.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 18, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure most crooks at the top echelon of AIG management are Repubtards.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | March 18, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It's time to call AIG's bluff. Start the criminal indictments now. Put these high rollers in jail and pass a law that limits all compensation to a fixed factor times the pay of the lowest employee in the company. Such factor to limit the compensation to no more than 1$M, but only for the CEO. Everyone else should be grateful they still have a job. If they don't like it, let them go off on their own and see if they can do any better. F'ing greedy pigs!

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | March 18, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Distasteful? Distasteful?

Reprehensible is a more accurate description. It seems to me that congress failed to address the issue at bailout time. That was the time to act. All of this outrage after the fact is simple grandstanding.

If AIG pays back the bonuses, who is to say that they aren't just them back directly from taxpayer funds?

The accountability for these funds seems extremely lax.

Posted by: postfan1 | March 18, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure most crooks at the top echelon of AIG management are Repubtards.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | March 18, 2009 10:15 AM


---------------------------------

You'd be wrong. Like 75% of Wall Street execs, their dimorats. But that's OK, don't let facts get in the way of your ranting.

Posted by: ttttt1 | March 18, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. So can Liddy if he would grow a set. Hiding behind "doing business as usual" isn't easy now that every breath you take is noted on the internet.

Recovering ALL of the taxpayers "hard-earned" money from AIG, let alone the bonuses, should be first and foremost.

A good start would be to remove and replace all of the people that had a hand in this debacle. You can't clean up a system until you get rid of the rot.

Posted by: inewsmaster | March 18, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The Congress approved the bonuses so why not take advantage of the extra cash. The democrats are doing a great job of blaming Bush, but they are the ones to blame.
Chris Dodd agreed in writing that NEW RULES... "shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009."
Now he conveniently says that he doesn't know how this got there and that it wasn't there before. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH
Another proof of incompetence & corruption
in our Congress.

Posted by: jmk55 | March 18, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The Federal Government needs to contract Jack Bauer "24" to recoup the $175 millions from AIG.

Posted by: smwemw | March 18, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"AIG has recently made a set of compensation payments, some of which I find distasteful."

Only some? It is a testament to how warped and cynical the financial industry has become that they can consider to be appropriate under any circumstance a bonus in an amount that exceeds what many people in this country can earn in their entire working career.

Posted by: sickntired4 | March 18, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Let's just say the "Change" people wanted isn't going to happen anytime soon in the manner we are going. In fact, it seems we no longer elect leaders, but instead set ourselves up for the next guy in line to bend us over. It's not even about party, since what we have seen as leadership these past 20 years are nothing more than players in a game we average people cannot see in full day light. It's timethink America and where we want to be, since it is obvious that the ones seeking power have no clue that the American people are fed up with the way we are treated as basic assets to drive their personal wealth. Either fix the problem or face a revolt on par with 1776, or worse similar to the French revolt of 1796!

Posted by: wolfram21121 | March 18, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on! This is how AIG has always done business. Now after buying 80% of the company our government doesn't like it? How about doing due diligence like the rest of us before you piss away other people's money and then try to cover your collective asses by killing the company you "invested" our money in.
The real corrupt behavior is in Congress. Check out them bonuses for screwing up.

Posted by: screwed | March 18, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

While I think these bonus payments are outrageous I believe they are just a cover up so no one will look at the billions that aig has given foreign banks, I believe that should be the real outrage. Those bonus payments amount to a drop in a teacup compared to what Germany,France,Swiss& many more in the Billions of our taxpayers money. WHY ?

Posted by: jrs6776 | March 18, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

i could understand(maybe) if the company made money that they would honor their contracts, but in the wake of whats happened in the last year, maybe the employees should be paying back their salaries instead of rewarding them for the mess they made!

Posted by: astroman215aolcom | March 18, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

These Wall Streeters don't yet realize they've been living a lifestyle that was as inflated as the financial markets they manipulated. They need to adjust their lifestyle to the new reality. They don't deserve million dollar bonuses to unravel the mess they made, especially the analysts that already departed AIG. What contract awards a retention bonus without demanding retention of at least a year? I still want to understand what benefit, if any, Main Street will receive from unraveling these complex derivatives!

Posted by: TravelMan | March 18, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

With a lastname of Liddy, what elsr would you expect?

Posted by: demtse | March 18, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

What is the plan to claw back the blackmail bonuses given to AIG? When are we going to start seeing prosecution of the scum who put the US on the hook for hundreds of billions then ran like roaches when the lights were turned on?

Posted by: hairguy01 | March 18, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

No if, ands or buts about it, bonuses are awarded to employees because of company profits not losses. Furthermore, the bonuses were paid with taxpayer money and not company funds. The bonuses were not justified no matter how you look at it. Sham on you AIG!!!

Posted by: Chp223 | March 18, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Let's get those boys and girls together and send them to boot camp in a neighborhood where people trying to crawl out of poverty through home ownership have lost 30-50% of their net worth - the east side of Saint Paul, or North East Minneapolis. Let them spend a few days in a home that is now worth less than $100K. And let's walk them up and down the sidewalks wearing AIG t-shirts.

Posted by: practica1 | March 18, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

"Those in the bonus pool are making sums that for most of us would be astronomical but that are significantly less than what they used to make. Driving away the very people who understand how to fix this complicated mess may make everyone else feel better, but it isn't particularly cost-effective."

Why ARE bankers paid so much more than equally qualified and hardworking people in other industries? They don't work longer hours than doctors or study harder than engineers.

The reason is simple really: they have access to more money, so they award themselves more of it. That's it. They take chunks of investors' money, and keep it as salaries, hoping the banks' operations will generate enough profit to cover the investors.

All the talk about special talents and indispensable people is just smoke, cover for what is really legalised embezzlement on a grand scale. Bankers pay themselves a lot because there is a lot of cash sloshing around in banks and they can get away with pocketing it.

And are these people really so uniquely qualified to 'wind up' their derivatives? I think it's pretty clear that they DON'T know the value of these investments any better than outsiders, or they would have tried to wind some up earlier. The claim that they "understand" these credit default swaps is absurd on its face. This whole crisis arose precisely because they didn't understand them.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 18, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

...and since the amount of these bonuses is such a trivial amount to some, allow me to just point out that $170 million in bonus could instead employ…

…seven thousand (7,000) workers at $25k/yr ($25,000.00 per year) jobs...

...but I guess to the average Republican seven thousand families earning their own way is not worth giving up a new boat for...

Posted by: moon-base-alpha | March 18, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I am amazed that bonuses would have been paid to some who actually let the company after they ran it into the toilet. Sounds like the former CEO of Home Depot who quit and left with millions in bonuses and went on to try and run Chrysler into the ground. The brakes need to be put on NOW. They also need to expose the recipients of the money, especially the ones who have now left the company

Posted by: tisch | March 18, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR OUR ALAMO REPUBLICANS

Republicans need to immediately:

1.Forge an alliance with the “Troublesome Dems”–you know the ones who place America before Obama.

2.“Walk on tryouts”–like a football team give various Republicans a chance to walk on the team, thatis put them on the National news shows–see who can play.

3. Wolf pack attack–get video and attack specific portions of Obama’s idiotic stimulus. Beat them like a drum.

Pelosi has excommunicated House Republicans anyway–we expect action from our Alamo Republicans

Posted by: JaxMax | March 18, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Here is a sample ad for our Alamo Republicans:

A SAMPLE WOLF PACK AD–GONE WITH THE WIND

Scene: Govt printing press, stacks of $20 placed on crates being moved by forklifts

Off screen narrator–“$165 million to AIG after they were bailed out by the Govenment”

“Those are your tax dollars-7 semi trucks full of $20s”

Sound–beep beep beep forklifts busy loading

Fade screen to Obama looking baffled, weary, confused Dark stormy background

Off screen narrator–sorrowful tone “And regrettably President Obama knew about the bonus BEFORE it was paid.”

Scene: Hundreds of Forklifts dumping $20s into the wind

Off screen narrator–ominous, sorrowful “We just can’t afford any more reckless spending bills from President Obama.”

“And If President Obama can’t do any better with AIG bonuses–how in the world is he going to manage your Doctor’s office?”

Screen fadeaway- Marcus Welby with stethoscope treating elderly African American female Bright sunbeam shines through window focused on Dr and Patient

STOP OBAMA’S Govt Takeover of your Doctors office now---
------Call 1-800-USA-STOP------------------

Posted by: JaxMax | March 18, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"executives -- some of which worked at AIG's Financial Products division, whose risky behavior hurt the company."

Hurt? That understatement is nearly as big as Liddy's "distasteful" comment.

Their risky behavior, which was not restricted to AIG, nearly brought down the US economy (according to Bernanke).

Posted by: DoctorJay-Z | March 18, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

These executives, especially Liddy, have mis-represented AIG standings on a scale far lager even than Enron. When will we see the arrests and perp walks!!? Where is the FBI and the Justice system in all of this? Throw all of these "best people" criminal financial terrorist in prison where they belong. Freeze their assets, tax any TARP company bonuses at 100% along with an additional 100% of the bonus as a fine paid by the company.

Did anyone ask Liddy about their disgusting executive outings celebrating losing $62Billion/quarter after receiving the tax payers money.

IS THERE ANYTHING THIS COMPANY DOES THAT ISN'T DISGUSTING AND CRIMINAL?

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | March 18, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Liddy is a sociopathic liar. He should be indicted for fraud and convicted with the rest of the lot and sent to prison for a long time. If we as a nation fail to punish these people, then we as a nation fail at justice, and cannot be regarded as a nation of laws.

Posted by: PutDownTheKoolaid | March 18, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

What is distasteful is that Obama was too busy on Valentine's Day to read the bill he signed protecting the bonuses.

Or perhaps he knew exactly what he was doing.

Posted by: pkhenry | March 18, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: moon-base-alpha | March 18, 2009 10:45 AM
...and since the amount of these bonuses is such a trivial amount to some, allow me to just point out that $170 million in bonus could instead employ…

…seven thousand (7,000) workers at $25k/yr ($25,000.00 per year) jobs...

...but I guess to the average Republican seven thousand families earning their own way is not worth giving up a new boat for...

-------------------------------------------
DUHHH! What ignorance! Chris Dodd is the one who approved the bonuses. Quit blaming everything on Republicans!

Posted by: jmk55 | March 18, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

A bad tie is distasteful. There has to be a better word to describe my feelings here.

Posted by: SarahBB | March 18, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I personally find Mr. Liddy "distasteful" and if I ever see him in a dark alley, I'll bash his brains out and piosss down his neck.

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | March 18, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

AIG - Alien Investment Group...

hahah...

this picture is hilarious. Charles Grassley to space!

http://weeklyworldnews.com/alien-alert/6971/charles-grassley-confronts-aig-execs/

Posted by: weeklyworldnews | March 18, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The politicians calling the businessmen corrupt is like the pot calling the kettle black. Its easy to blame others and act holier than thou, however the blame for the current situation rests with us all, our politicians and businessmen.

Greed is not the exclusive preserve of company executives. This witchhunt of business should stop.

Posted by: fairenbalanced | March 18, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Folks, I hate to say it really, because I actually did have a glimmer of "hope" there for a while. Hope has worn off. These Dems are the enablers right now. The Dems are in the pockets of these people and are glad handing them trillions of our tax dollars no strings attached.

I don't think having a majority party of the President's is a good idea. I would like to think somebody else would be doing something differently, but I think the issue is that Dodd, Franks, Pelosi, Reid are just in too deep with these people to responsibly manage this.

We need to equal the playing field in 2010, our form of Government requires it, too much power in one parties hand apparently equals handing over all our money to criminal financial terrorist with no strings attached.

This is a great dissappointment Mr. Obama, I really expected more from you.

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | March 18, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

AIG might help us all by putting the bonus money in escrow for 3 years, and pay it only if the 150 odd "executives" find a way to unwind the damage without further investment from the US taxpayers-- Also-- the board of directors needs to be entirely and immediatlely replaced as well.

Posted by: JonTCGLLC | March 18, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

WE THE PEOPLE need to know the names of the bonuse recipients. We have some collecting to do one way or another. If the government won't enforce, we must become the enforcers, we must take back what is rightfully ours from these people. Burn their homes, vandalize and steal everything we can back from them, if we can't get it all back, we can surely make their lives miserable as they should be shunned from society, beaten, stoned and live like the scum that they are.

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | March 18, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

This is idiocy! Obama and Co. spend trillions of dollars in pork and they are complaining about bonuses that are written into contracts that the government was aware of and approved of more than a year ago! Come on!!!

Posted by: donheinz | March 18, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I really don't think Liddy gets it AT ALL.
Can someone with a grenade or rocket launcher find one of Liddy's homes and "enlighten him"??? PLEASE

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | March 18, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse


...yes JaxMax your beliefs only lend credence to the ignorance that abounds today in America...

…because who is the real MENACE TO SOCIETY today?'…

…as the black men serving time in prison for selling drugs should be let out because "they are only trying to better their position in life." These black men, many of them young men, are only using what resources are available to them in order to acquire the materialistic goods which have been available to rich white Americans for years…

…and the only difference between what these young blacks do and what corporate executives do is the executive's unethical means of acquisition are legal, and the blacks means are not…

…but I digress. This is not an issue of black versus white. It is an issue of rich versus poor, the bourgeoisie versus the proletariat, the 'haves' versus the 'have-nots'. And the battle lines are becoming more and more distinct all across America…

…Years ago, Americas forefathers left the oppressive Monarchy rule of England to establish a new society in a new land where all men would be treated equally and democracy would be the governing force. Well, something happened on the way to the forum…

…and what you now have is an America where more and more rich are taking everything they can get their hands on, whether it be property, real estate, merchandise, legal rights, or privileges, and in the process are throwing more and more people to the wolves. Ninety percent of America's vast wealth is owned by only ten percent of its population. It seems the English monarchs of old have returned in the form of the William Randolph Hearsts and their Xanadus, who use their power and control over law and government to acquire whatever they may fancy. It is time for a change…

…it is time to expose the modern day WASAMI, or White Anglo Saxon Alpha Male Intellectual, for what he really is--- the most dangerous social predator since the Tyrannosaurus Rex…

…and it is time for Americans to take back America. It is time to get a Maximum Wage on the ballots across this land, and it is time to use the correct legal channels to change America…

Posted by: moon-base-alpha | March 18, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if anyone else has mentioned this yet, but will all these lawmakers who are so outraged by all this be returning any campaign bucks paid by AIG over the last few years to their individual campaigns back to the American Taxpayer, since we own 80% of the Insurer?

It's only ethical, right?

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | March 18, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The farce here is that Congress has put on a theatre to stamp their feet over 100 million in bonuss, when 30 percent of the 185 Billion in bailout money to AIG went to payouts for foriegn transaction parties, including DeutscheBank and innumberable unnamed companies scattered across the Caribbean. They got paid in full---under their contracts. And these were the contracts we could have effectively renegotiated by going to these governments and telling them to chip in for their own wards.

No one cares about the tens of billions because because it doesn't seem to involve identifiable people we hate getting more money in their pockets than we have.

The phony, vain, "moral" outrage 99% of the readers here is forcing Congress to deal with nonesense and providing them the government they deserve: distracted, petty, uninformed, and ineffective.

Posted by: wharwood | March 18, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I have supported the AIG bailout and Edward Liddy's work to restructure AIG. I have been a strong supporter of Barack Obama. And I am furious that these bonuses were paid and that the Treasury Department did nothing to stop it.

Liddy's "outside counsel advised that bonuses were contractually obligated": AIG could have stalled the payments pending additional legal review. It's done all the time with respect to corporate contracts. There was no need for haste here and to make this argument is specious, especially to anyone who knows anything about contract disputes.

If anything, Timothy Geithner's letter to Nancy Pelosi is even worse: the Treasury Department determined that it would be "difficult" to break the contracts. So what? The Treasury Department should have enjoined AIG against payment and litigated any lawsuits brought to force payment. Mr. Geithner's excuse is laughable.

I am outraged and disgusted at both AIG and the Obama Administration. I would be very happy if Timothy Geithner would resign and be replaced by someone with a backbone-- preferably someone with a backbone who had managed to pay his or her taxes on time.

And if I, a supporter of Obama and the bailout feel this way, I can only imagine what others are feeling.

Posted by: ANetliner | March 18, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I work for a fortune 500 company. A retail giant. One company that is surviving through this recession/depression. The reason is because of good, solid, ethical and moral business practices. Management employment contracts comes with bonus plans and merit pay based on profit. For our 2008 fiscal year all bonuses and merit increase in wages are frozen. No increases, no bonuses. This is one reason we will survive this recession. There won't be any bailout/handout from the government. This is why AIG is a failed company, because of lack of integrity, and solid ethical and moral business practices. They are plain greedy and want to take all they can get before this company completely collapses. They do not care about survival, only about getting what they can and getting out. Shame shame on all of them and our government for playing along. One wonders how many government officials of ours are getting their pockets lined from all this bail out money. Or protecting their pensions at any cost.

Posted by: hanocul6 | March 18, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

This is what you get when an arrogant incompetent Socialist Street Agitator is POTUS and a Tax Cheat is Sec of Treasury.

ACORN Barry and his administration lied and deceived. They knew full well about the contracts for AIG. He in essence "pardoned" the AIG CEO Liddy on Monday. The fake anger on display by ACORN Barry is his tried and true South Chicago head fake juke. Deceit for ACORN Barry is a natural. He has been doing it for years. Put ACORN Barry before Congress, his administration, The Corrupt Dodd and The Flamboyant Barney Fwank under oath. What a fraud.


Posted by: ChangeWhat | March 18, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Wake up FOOLS – WHO OWNS AIG???
Aside from the monies given by the UNITED STATES government – the largest shareholders are GOLDMAN-SUCKS and WARREN’short-laughing-pudgy’BUFFET besides ‘original owners’ forced out by the NewYork AG E – L – I – O – T SPITZER when he was not dabbling with PROS-TEE-TOOT-EES on the public’s money – and now NewYork AG ANDY’lil-mafioso-in-training’CUOMO has taken up the ‘populist’ class-warfare banner in the hopes it will land him in the GOVERNOR’S MANSION or a SENATURD SEAT!!! AIG is one of the largest insurance underwriters in the world and much of the ‘BAILOUT’ MONIES went to GOLDMAN-SUCKS + WARREN’should-have-been-indicted-for-bond-fraud-at-Salomon-for-KATRINA-insurance-scam-for AIG-fraud’BUFFETT and only a fraction FRACTION to BONUSES!!!NESIDES THESE WERE ALL GOOD DEMBHOLES LED BY GEITHNER.But heh ‘the OBAMA’ is ‘outraged’ so it must be so right??? THE STOOPID CONGRESS LED BY SENATURD CHRIS’ise-got-mines-loan-from-Countrywide’DODD + REPREHENSIBLE BARNEY’play-with-my-schmeckle-and-get-a-loan’FRANK set up this procedure to benefit their ‘friends’/donors and now it comes back to bite them on the backsides!!! NOW THEY PRETEND NO KNOWLEDGE ON WHAT THEY – THE US CONGRESS-of-fools/frauds HAS ARRANGED AS IF THEY WERE INNOCENT PARTIES AND HAD BEEN DUPED SOMEHOW!!! FOOLS WE ARE FOR ELECTING THEM!!!JUST LIKE PREZ BARACH’incurably-dishonest’OBAMA told us the economy was in the toilet when he needed his STIMULUS CRAP PORK ROLL + BUDGET FIASCO PASSSED for all those DEMBHOLE+REPUBLICANT pork projects or the world would end??? Ha. WHAT STOOPID MORONS FOR LISTENING TO THESE JERKHOLES!!! ‘the OBAMA’ don’t know nothin about this until last month he says(except he knew for a year this would happen!)cuz ‘the OBAMA’ wents to HARVARD!!! ANOTHER LIAR IN A CONGRESS OF LIARS AND FOOLERS OF THE PUBLIC – AS LONG AS THE GET WHAT THEY THINK IS ‘THEIRS’ BY RIGHT!!! And we are the STOOPIDEST of all – for voting them in to expect ‘HOPE&CHANGE’!!! While 'the OBAMA' pretends outrage pocketing more donations from AIG+CITIBANK+GOLDMAN-SUCKS+WARREN BUFFETT+'THE AUTO UNIONS'and the larcenous LAWYERS that surround him!!! by Jaimot’s Jargon at 10:51 AM

Posted by: ZyskandarAJaimot | March 18, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Why ARE bankers paid so much more than equally qualified and hardworking people in other industries? They don't work longer hours than doctors or study harder than engineers.

The reason is simple really: they have access to more money, so they award themselves more of it. That's it. They take chunks of investors' money, and keep it as salaries, hoping the banks' operations will generate enough profit to cover the investors.

All the talk about special talents and indispensable people is just smoke, cover for what is really legalised embezzlement on a grand scale. Bankers pay themselves a lot because there is a lot of cash sloshing around in banks and they can get away with pocketing it.

And are these people really so uniquely qualified to 'wind up' their derivatives? I think it's pretty clear that they DON'T know the value of these investments any better than outsiders, or they would have tried to wind some up earlier. The claim that they "understand" these credit default swaps is absurd on its face. This whole crisis arose precisely because they didn't understand them.

Posted by: bourassa1 | March 18, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

A couple of things that I would like to know is, where is the Republican outrage. Not one Republican was mentioned in the article . . only Democrats. And the subheadiung of "Lawmakers Beat Up On AIG" makes it sound like we should have pity on AIG. What I say is AIG should have been let to fail and not received any bailout money. Tax them on 100% of the bonus. What about the people within AIG that works in the mailroom in contrast to the executives that already get a HEFTY salary in addition to a BONUS that is not warranted?

Posted by: ingramje | March 18, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The same group of law makers voted for the increasing of their salary. The pot calls the keltle black. No wonder this country is going down to the sh1t hole.

Posted by: infoshop | March 18, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Business as usual on Wall St, no matter what the landscape, what the environment is outside the "millionaire bubble" they have lived in.

This is a dog and pony show on the Hill today, as congress knew full well about these bonuses LAST YEAR!

Congress is just trying to cover their rear ends in front of the americans who will be watching this useless, theatrical grilling, who may not be aware that congress could have put a stop to these bonuses - last year!

Posted by: jfern03 | March 18, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I am angry at Obama and Congress for throwing more and more of my money away to bailouts that do nothing for me or my family.

I would like Obama and Congress and all their political appointees to pay 80% of ALL their income back to us - not just their federal incomes but all the other income from lobbyists and book deals.

Maybe then we might see some fiscal responsibility and real integrity from our elected leadership!

I BLAME OBAMA AND CONGRESS!

Posted by: mgd1 | March 18, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

These so-called angry politicians are nothing more than hypocrites. Pelosi abusing Air Force travel, Rangel as a rax cheat, Chris Dodd getting payoffs from AIG, is enough to make one sick. Stop to follow up on the most recent spending bill with over 9,000 earmarks. Here is some more news:

For all of President Obama’s promises of reform, a close look at just three of the more than 9,000 earmarks contained in the $410 billion spending bill that he signed last week shows just how hard it will be to clamp down on lawmakers’ pet projects.

Take Catalyst Renewables, an energy company that failed to win a $30 million grant from the federal government last year but got a $500,000 earmark courtesy of New York lawmakers.

Or PPG Industries, a manufacturing conglomerate based in Pittsburgh that received nearly $1.2 million to develop windows that double as solar panels, which lawmakers promoted as a one-of-a-kind initiative even though the company has many competitors.

Or the $190,000, secured by Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, for a community center in New Orleans to be built by a nonprofit group founded by her brother, allocated even though the project is defunct.

Posted by: 2tired | March 18, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The AIG execs may have skill, but they obviously have ethics that suck. They cannot fix the problem because they cannot be be TRUSTED to "fix" the problem. Any person experienced in the financial industry; and in possession of ethics that include compassion, empathy, and concern for the good of others could do just as much as any one of those AIG execs. Take back their money and bonuses, fire them and prosecute them for fraud; and include Mr. Liddy in that group.

Blaming the Republicans or Democrats for the current economic crisis is absurd. The "problem" is greed; plain and simple. The banking industry must be regulated. The Glass-Steagall act of the early 1930's did just that. Look at the Glass-Steagall Act here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass-Steagall_Act

This legislation was put in place in the early 30's to correct similar circumstances that have brought us to where we are today. The act was partially repealed in 1980 and totally in 1990 by a BI-PARTISAN VOTE. After this act was completely repealed, the stock market, and the banking industry started their unregulated stampede to the edge of the abyss.

CEO's salaries must be limited and the gap between "rich" and "poor" must be significantly reduced or there will be big trouble.

Posted by: the_piano_man | March 18, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

While the democrat scumbags, who knew last year about the AIG bonuses, vent their phony outrage, will anyone ask them about Raines, Johnson, Gorelick and the other democrat sleazes who took millions in bonuses from Fammie Mae and Freddie Mac?
Or will they comment about their bonus plan for this next year, which isn't dempendent on performance?

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/18/hey-guess-who-else-has-an-executive-retention-bonus-plan/

I figure they probably won't given the media's cowardice when it comes to democrat corruption.

Posted by: LarryG62 | March 18, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

This is all sickening, of course, and points to the profound corruption that has poisoned the financial system for years. But the outrage, it seems to me, is trivial compared to the outrage that ought to be expressed at those in the Defense Department who managed to waste three hundred BILLION dolars of OUR tax money. That story seems to be minor, to many people. Wow.

Posted by: dicesare1 | March 18, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The BIG picture is being lost in the details here... The root cause of this whole mess is the government trying to step in and run a corporation that it has no expertise in doing. Lawmakers just keep throwing money at a problem that shouldn't be solved by the government and NOW there are complaints over what AIG did with the money?!?!! Where was the accountability upfront BEFORE the money was ever given? I think congress should win an Academy Award over their so-called "outrage".......

Posted by: lwhite2 | March 18, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

ALL AMERICAN GOVERMENTS + WALL STREET = ULTIMATE FRAUD.

Posted by: mtavro | March 18, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Barney Frank is an absolutely disgusting embarrassment. He is as arrogant, hypocritical and corrupt as any in Congress. For this country to be subjected to his radical Socialist hot flashes is a disgrace. He should be walked out of Congress and thrown in the mud where he belongs.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | March 18, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Part of the Bonuses.

No ALL of the frigging bonuses

Give us this money, we are the ones that need it

they failed and now we are all flailing and no one is helping us

who is going to help me

i have lost my job and I am struggling

and they have these kinds of bonuses for failing and causing the economy to buckle

I knew Congress was stupid, I just didn't realize how dumb

that clause that allows them to pay these bonuses, whoever put that in this bill needs to be jailed

GIVE US THE MONEY

IT IS TIME FOR A TAX REVOLUTION IN THIS COUNTRY

we pay no taxes until things are right and CEO's pay all back taxes etc.

j chri..

Posted by: lndlouis | March 18, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse


AIG RAPED AMERICA... WHILE CONGRESS STOOD BY....

Google David Cay Johnston... an x-ray of Congress over the last 30+ years... TIME FOR A WASHINGTON TEA PARTY!

Posted by: kkrimmer | March 18, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

part of the money doesnt cut it mr libby you plea for taxpayer help then pay out bonuses & now as afterthought you want executives to only pay back half what would happen if you got only half the bailout money coming to you you can do better we are not a country that awards bad buisness pratices if your employees like taking risk do it their own money not the taxpayers

Posted by: yankee5754 | March 18, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The problem is Geithner, who never worked in the private sector & is not qualified. Anyone with experience knows Kanjorski is right, "sue us", let those Londoners come to the USA to sue, & defend on the ground they violated their fiduciary duty to AIG with their reckless behavior. Any reasonable jury will rule against their claim.

Posted by: kauf5413 | March 18, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Ummm .. the populist outrage at AIG, etc is WARRANTED.. at Congress, NO. Think back to Henry Paulson & the last Republican President who started the bailout BECAUSE the world would collapse, really! Paul Krugman is a SMART man. Do you want widespread defaults? Collapse of entire economies? And it STILL may happen. Obama & Geitner are to be faulted for allowing ANY bonuses to seep through, but these were originally NOT part of the package. "Someone" put them back in. I hope we find the "someone" and I hope Libby et al go to jail and are left with as little net assets as I have!

Posted by: Two1 | March 18, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

What is this part bonus sh!t?? How about returning it all Libby, and while you are at lets cut your salary as well.

Posted by: matrox | March 18, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Pretty good deal. As a taxpayer, I pretty much own AIG (at least it's liabilities) and yet I can't know the names of the million dollar babies.

Posted by: SarahBB | March 18, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Why only half of the bonuses? Libby shows time and time again that he does NOT get it. Beyond whether they should have been payed in the first place, why not ask people to return the whole thing?! Many of the bonuses these executives would retain are STILL many times higher than the average annual salary of most Americans. It's shameful.

Posted by: nashpaul | March 18, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"Ring fence" assets. Ha. Those go to the government as "repayment." Thanks, a bunch. I believe the term is toxic. I need to stop reading this for my health.

Posted by: SarahBB | March 18, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Nationalize, assume management, investigate, fire, fine, and reorganize. Do not allow any foriegn national who recieved a bonus to reenter the United States until payment is recieved.

Posted by: kaycwagner | March 18, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so now we know Liddy's position: return half of the bonus amounts.

Here is my position: Liddy goes to jail and everyone who has received a bonus has 48 hours to return it, or be jailed.

Posted by: PutDownTheKoolaid | March 18, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when massive legislation is passed without letting people even read it through. Had the Democrats let this be reviewed before voting on it the AIG bonuses may have been brought to our attention when something could have been done to stop them from being paid. Obama is more worried about the NCAA tournament than fixing the Country's problems.

Geithner is in way over his head and the very fact he was in charge of the Fed's New York District when this meltdown occurred should have disqualified him for the position of Treasury Secretary. Hell, he is either a tax cheat or too stupid to do his own taxes which is another reason he should have never been given the job. It is obvious that Obama is not up for the job of President of the United States. I truly fear for the future of this country if he, Pelosi and Reid get their way.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | March 18, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Mr. Libby but you still don't get it. You are only asking that your execs give half their bonus money. Did the people only give you half the bailout money you requested? What a slap in the face of those who have lost their jobs and homes and even their lives in the wake of this mess. Not only should the entire bonus amount be returned, salary cuts are in order and all other perks until this crisis has passed.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | March 18, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

enough of the blame game already theres plenty enough to go around I for one am sick of it children argue , fight,& moan when they dont get their way

Posted by: yankee5754 | March 18, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Liddy and his right wing ilk had no concern for the safety of the American people whilst ripping off our treasury but we're supposed to be concerned for the criminals safety?Liddy . . appointed by Bush cabal to "fix" AIG has a legacy of bringing corporations to their knees.

He was the chairman of Allstate when they were cheating Hurricane Katrina victims out of their insurance coverage. Before that Liddy was the CFO at a pharmaceutical company where Don Rumsfeld was the CEO.

Together they axed most of the employees in order to make it an attractive property for Monsanto, which bought it in 1985 making Rumsfeld and Liddy immensely wealthy (although neither had contributed anything to the value of the company aside from firing 60% of the employees who had built it up.)

And Chris Dodd is not responsible for these bonuses to be paid out as the right wing press have been pushing. He in fact, INSERTED the clause eliminating these bonuses...The clause was removed by the conference committee due to GOP loud obnoxious opposition to thical business practises that would "protect America".

Until the PRESS, particularly the right wing talking heads start being honest, this nation cannot repair the problems manufactured by the last 8-years of obfuscation and White House Talking points hidden behind publishing Treasury audit reports over holdiay weekends, etc.

Posted by: spritey | March 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

We all know what brought us to this point -greed and a sense of entitlement. The real question is, what is our new President going to do about it, and how can we get our Congress to stop being part of the problem and help him fix it? One suggestion - identify and round up those who thought up this travesty in the Financial Services groups (at AIG, Goldman, etc.)and ban them from working in the financial sector for a period of at least 10 years. From the CEO's to the lowliest salesperson, we will provide them with unemployment level income, and they can sit home under house arrest - without modems or bluetooth. Violators subject to immediate arrest and prison. The one thing we know for sure is that these unscrupulous individuals are out there thinking up new, but equally self-centered ways to leverage their sick ideas into more megabucks for themselves at the expense of everyone else, so we need a no-exceptions way to prevent them from consulting, working for or gaining access to our nation's and our world's financial system, otherwise, we will be back here in another few years. Let's get these folks out of Wall Street. They can live on their extravagent bonuses and those "rich folks" tax cuts - hope they've been saving...

Posted by: rmcdetal | March 18, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Let them go belly-up

THEN THEY WILL "GET IT"

Posted by: cenicero | March 18, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

May I just pay one half of my income taxes?

Posted by: sandyboy42 | March 18, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Threats from the American public? Nonsense. What LIddy should have said is "threats from liberal Democrats." The motto of the Weather Underground and of Obama buddy William Ayers was, "Kill the rich." The left simply does what comes naturally.

Posted by: mhr614 | March 18, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps thes AIG executives need to be put in 24x7 protective custody in the federal supermax in Colorado......for their own safety, of course.

If someone who lost his job, house, healthcare and pension because of AIG credit default swaps shot one of these executives, is there a jury in the country who would convict the perp?

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | March 18, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ingramje "A couple of things that I would like to know is, where is the Republican outrage..."

That outrage was spent screaming from roof tops AGAINST any regulations put in place to quell bonuses against those who are the biggest GOP's donors....after all to pimp other people's money, one needs someone TO pimp WITH money.

And since the entire GOP follows the marching orders of a drug addicted high school drop out who has been elevated to lead the Repub party . . .and those marching orders are clear: RUSH LIMBAUGH is in full support of bloated bonuses paid by other people's money as we speak.

As well as the other Repub propagandist who is following Limbaugh's talking points:
Blubering John Bircher on FOX News: Beck...are in full support of those bonuses....even tho' Beck confesses he's clueless about economics.

As long as the GOP patronizes our national shame: mouth breather viewers/listeners of
"entertainers" who openly admit they know NOTHING about ANYthing the nation cannot repair itself or our global dignity.

Posted by: spritey | March 18, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

*************************************************
Posted by: yankee5754 | March 18, 2009 2:18 PM
enough of the blame game already theres plenty enough to go around I for one am sick of it children argue , fight,& moan when they dont get their way
*************************************************

I guess it is getting harder and harder for you Obamabots to defend your political Messiah. Obama is showing his ignorance more and more as each day passes. He has already made Bush look like a rocket scientist. Obama obviously reached his peak of competence when he was a community organizer. Every job since then he has been woefully inadequate. Why do you think he has to have a teleprompter at every public appearance? At a press conference with Brian Cowen he actually read Cowen's remarks thinking they were his!!! He THANKED HIMSELF before catching that he was reading the wrong remarks!!! Obama is dragging this country into a cesspool of debt and socialism that nobody signed up for. He lied to us all during the campaign.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | March 18, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

They are so luck to be in this Country in other place they probably be in the clink.

Posted by: alfonsorfarina | March 18, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Liddy and his right wing ilk had no concern for the safety of the American people whilst ripping off our treasury but we're supposed to be concerned for the criminals safety?Liddy . . appointed by Bush cabal to "fix" AIG has a legacy of bringing corporations to their knees.

He was the chairman of Allstate when they were cheating Hurricane Katrina victims out of their insurance coverage. Before that Liddy was the CFO at a pharmaceutical company where Don Rumsfeld was the CEO.

Together they axed most of the employees in order to make it an attractive property for Monsanto, which bought it in 1985 making Rumsfeld and Liddy immensely wealthy (although neither had contributed anything to the value of the company aside from firing 60% of the employees who had built it up.)

And Chris Dodd is not responsible for these bonuses to be paid out as the right wing press have been pushing. He in fact, INSERTED the clause eliminating these bonuses...The clause was removed by the conference committee due to GOP loud obnoxious opposition to thical business practises that would "protect America".

Until the PRESS, particularly the right wing talking heads start being honest, this nation cannot repair the problems manufactured by the last 8-years of obfuscation and White House Talking points hidden behind publishing Treasury audit reports over holdiay weekends, etc.

Posted by: spritey | March 18, 2009 2:19 PM
==========================
Hey Kool Aid Drinker!! Get a clue!! AIG gave 3 times the donations to Dems than they did Republicans!! FACT
Dodd plays dumb over how the "dates" got into the legislation, but it was HIS legislation and he is at fault for not knowing what was in it!! So is the sorry excuse for a President, who was so fixated over getting a bill on his desk by Presidents day, that even he didn't know what was in the bill!!
RUSH RUSH RUSH!!! So that it could sit on his desk for more time than Congress degated it!!!
Liberals are soooo pathetic!!

Posted by: dkidwell61 | March 18, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

A public Call For Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner’s Resignation or termination…

Geithner MUST resign or be terminated by the President for the following reasons:

1) He is a tax-evader, and now “leads” the IRS!!! (Like the proverbial fox guarding the hen house!!!,) and he hired an illegal worker in his household for at least two months!!!

2) He has no self-confidence, and no good ideas about how to get us out of this recession, which will soon be a depression if Geithner remains in his post much longer.

3) He (in the words of President Obama,) “screwed up” the AIG mess by not informing the White House in a timely manner of the obscene executive bonuses which we are now trying to recover, and being totally ineffectual in convincing the AIG leader ship NOT to hand out bonuses for destroying AIG!!!

4) The stock market “tanks” every time Geithner says or does anything!!!

5) Geithner should be in jail for tax evasion and employing an illegal worker, as oppossed to “leading” the IRS!!!

Drew E. Fenton, MD, FAAEM

A Concerned Centrist Democrat, Medical Doctor, and Law Student…
Email: dfenton@aol.com

Posted by: dfenton1 | March 18, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Fannie Mae plans bonuses of up to $611,000 [each] for 4 executives; Freddie Mac has similar plans"


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fannie-plans-bonuses-of-up-to-apf-14679491.html

Posted by: PattiORiley | March 18, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

If Liddy's concerned for the safety of his people, the answer is obvious - have the miserable pukes return their bonuses.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | March 18, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

A.I.G.

Formerly knows as:

The American International Group

Is now known as:

The American instituate of Gluttony

Posted by: cjackson3 | March 18, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Half back won't do- sorry. This behavior is shameful. This is not a compromise. They did not earn the money. They do not know me- I am not giving or lending money to anyone who was a particpant in breaking our ecomomy with their greed. End of story. So congress needs to get it handled- NOW. These is no compromise. Of and lets all remember that Mr. Dodd is the Senator from Connecticut where one of AIG's most notoriously egregious facilities is housed- and looks like donated massive $$$ to his campaign.

Posted by: poppysue85 | March 18, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"The Buck Stops Here" That was on the sign President Harry S. Truman had on his desk in the Oval Office. We have a new President who doesn't quite see things that way. If the American people can't understand that no payments would have been made to AIG without Barak Obama's direction then they will not understand that trillions of our taxpayers hard earned money is being doles out without any hope of job creation now when so many are out of work and cannot pay their bills.
Place the blame on the leader of the free world, our ersatz messiah, the man in the Oval office and the three thousand dollar suits, Barak Obama.

Posted by: mharwick | March 18, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

It is clear from the hearing testimony that congress, both parties, and the president bush and obama were asleep at the switch. They new about these bonuses for months. I see no evidence that these bonuses were unjustified. Barney Frank's demand that names of the individuals receiving bonuses is criminal. That dick sucker should be hung from his heels.

Posted by: goziner | March 18, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"Death threats from public" to exceutive crooks?
Can you blame them?

Posted by: analyst72 | March 18, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

AMEN DOCTOR!

D.E.Fenton, MD Wrote:
"A public Call For Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner’s Resignation or termination…

Geithner MUST resign or be terminated by the President for the following reasons:

1) He is a tax-evader, and now “leads” the IRS!!! (Like the proverbial fox guarding the hen house!!!,) and he hired an illegal worker in his household for at least two months!!!

2) He has no self-confidence, and no good ideas about how to get us out of this recession, which will soon be a depression if Geithner remains in his post much longer.

3) He (in the words of President Obama,) “screwed up” the AIG mess by not informing the White House in a timely manner of the obscene executive bonuses which we are now trying to recover, and being totally ineffectual in convincing the AIG leader ship NOT to hand out bonuses for destroying AIG!!!

4) The stock market “tanks” every time Geithner says or does anything!!!

5) Geithner should be in jail for tax evasion and employing an illegal worker, as oppossed to “leading” the IRS!!!"

Posted by: China_Rider | March 18, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

They don't seem to care abut the US soldiers who put their lives on the line or their families who lose jobs & homes.
These clowns obviously don't care about America.

Why would we care if they are afraid for their safety. If AIG doesn't want to hand over names, make them public, all AIG employees wil be the target, AIG will be the target around the world. People won't discriminate, in fact it'll get much worse.

AIG is getting what they deserve. Now we need to make clear they aren't the only ones responsible.

www.nextrevolution.net

Our representatives took $64 million in campaign contributions from the crooks responsible & they should be held accountable as well. Where is the FBI?

Why the American people would hold only the AIG people who received bonuses accountable is beyond me.

Let's see if the greed is worth it. Is breaking our economy worth the worry of being strangled with piano wire?

I'm resaonable sure bin Laden & terrorist are having a great time with this. We're being robbed by our representatives & the crooks at AIG are worried about US? I don't think so.

The President should be making a public statement on behalf of the military risking their lives for these dirt bags crooks who put money ahead of the lives of US soldiers fighting to keep them safe.

Our representatives put auto pay raises ahead of our military & are just as guilty in this crime. Bush & Cheney slithered out the back door with millions as well. Terrosit can't lose against an enemy no different then Saddam who tried to do the same thing.

Posted by: greyghost1 | March 18, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Partial give-backs are not enough. This is just another example of the kind of vague, loose arrangement trying to pass for commitment, that we should not accept. Let these crooks and their enablers do the right thing. For once.


Posted by: farhorizons | March 18, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

There really is only one pertinent question left to answer: Why hasn't Liddy been arrested yet?

Posted by: PutDownTheKoolaid | March 18, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The only thing missing form this is Josef Stalin at the podium or perhaps Kruschev banging his shoes on the table next to Capuano.

These guys are so pathetically odious! They are WORSE than AIG. They are the ones who held the CRA Gun to the head's of the bankers to write the toxic subprimes loans to people with No Income!

Oh, and by the way, Remember Eliot Spitzer? The guy who sued AIG to begin with? The guy to run the leadership of AIG into the hills and then set the stage for An Insurance Pro to step in?

Guess what kids, - That INsurance Pro had NO CLUE about how to manage the Financial Risk that AIG went on to assume! That's right kids! Spitzer made a big name for himslef - another incompetent lib Dem - and AIG got hosed!

But it's NEVER the Dem's fault right?! They were just trying to help the 'little guy', right?!

What's a that they say about good intentions and the road to hell?

Posted by: China_Rider | March 18, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Liddy said that he doesn't want to reveal the names of AIG employees who did not give back their bonuses because "I'm just really concerned about their safety."

This is a man that understands the realities of pissin off one of the best armed population in the world. It's something that the democrats seem to understand, but the republicans, to all outward appearance, don't have a clue.

Posted by: TRACIETHEDOLPHIN | March 18, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

If the AIG executives have even the slightest of common sense or the care for their nation, they all should have thrown out such contracts knowing full-well that AIG has come close to total closing its doors On Their Watch.
Maybe they are less than human (A total Predatory Biological Entity?).

Maybe the news didn't cover, but there are probably many who committed suicide quietly due to current financial situation that the nation and the people are on thinking that they made the wrong choice on investments when in reality they were RIPPED through and through by the Greedy.

These AIG executives, their family, and their friends probably live a life that's manicured to total comfort. These people (if we can qualify them as humans) ought to be forced to work the lowest paying wage with the dirtiest work possible.
Remember, we are all supposed to be equal and there is no shame on any type of employment?

Or is this just all a part of culling (getting rid-of) the undesirable millionaires by the truely Rich & Powerful and the working class along with our nation (and probably the world) just a collateral damage? 9-11 in mind anyone?

Just a Rambling Nonsense.....

Posted by: SOCIETY1 | March 18, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, this isn't a partisan problem it's a taxpayer problem and the country's problem, and I mean real taxpayers not the multimillion-dollar-loophole executives but those of us who actually pay our taxes and are getting ripped off by these people. Yes the $165 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the bailout but if we the middle class taxpayers are going to be burden with this then those executives should have to sacrifice as well but as we know people with money NEVER sacrifice a damn thing and then black mail the entire country. The death threats being made against these crooks are wrong but deserved nonetheless.

Posted by: davidbronx | March 18, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

First, our government asked Liddy to take over AIG and fix it. Now, people like Barney Frank are grandstanding for the sake of his own self interest and not liking Liddy's decisions to keep AIG from going bankrupt. If you haven't been watching the fiasco, I won't go into what is going on. But, people are more obsessed with the bonuses paid to the people who stayed to close out a specific part of AIG's book and then their job was eliminated -- than caring whether or not AIG goes bankrupt. Remember the sayings divide and conquer and class warfare? Obama and Emanuel are just lovin' this, and nothing divides people more than money.

Posted by: mafox1 | March 18, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"Edward Liddy says he doesn't want to reveal the names of AIG employees who did not give back their bonuses due to death threats from public."

Tough titty. Let them buy bodyguards with their ill-gotten gains.

Posted by: nicekid | March 18, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse


Frank's is a piece of work. AIG shouldn't tell congress anything. Let Franks subpoena them he'll never get them especially after the Gov. changes the anti privacy laws. Oh I forgot. Congress doesn't follow the laws so I guess Frank's feels he can get around the laws.

Posted by: askgees | March 18, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Liddy ask them to return half of the bonus--half? they should turn in all of the bonus and if they don't send them to jail until they do,those crook's are stealing our tax dollars just as surely as if they were using a gun so treat them like the criminal's they are.

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | March 18, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

The whole financial industry screwed up badly. What we need, however, is a well-functioning, well-regulated financial system.

Death threats from the public and suggestions of harakiri from congress are not really helping us to get that, though.

We need good government, and instead are getting incitements to riot from all quarters, and not only from outside government.

Posted by: billmosby | March 18, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Future zero-sum gamers take heed. As with all Faustian deals, eventually there's a price to be paid.
I'm glad I actually work for a living providing something people actually benefit from, so of course I'm underpaid.

Posted by: rooster54 | March 18, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Liddy is full of crud. The greedy arrogant culture of AIG created these monsters...alot of these indispensable masters ran, like the thieves they are, after they received their ill gotten bonuses. ENOUGH, AIG should have failed and there shouldn't be an additional penny given to this rathole.

Posted by: castillomark | March 18, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Liddy ask them to return half of the bonus--half? they should turn in all of the bonus and if they don't send them to jail until they do,those crook's are stealing our tax dollars just as surely as if they were using a gun so treat them like the criminal's they are.

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | March 18, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure most crooks at the top echelon of AIG management are Repubtards.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | March 18, 2009 10:15 AM

Really so why would the two top recipients of AIG donations Dodd and Obama. You really are retarded aren’t you. You make you're self look like a fool every time you post something. I suggest you change your screen name to talkingazz1

Posted by: askgees | March 18, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

So Obama is asking for some VP that got a $100,000 bonus for return it all (or some)--where that person likely did some and likely more work compared to a COO/CEO/EVP level exec.

Tell that to the little article on the WashPo about Fannie Mae Senior execs getting $400,000 (and increase from last year). And that Freddy will be doing similar--and they were APPROVED by the gov't.

Sure AIG was wrong giving out retention bonuses at this time, BUT THIS IS ALL POLITICAL THEATER--I'm calling out Obama, Congress, and the Treasury on this one. Compared to the little article tucked in about Fannie, I'm shocked there's 0 (ZERO) outrage in that situation.

Posted by: recharged95 | March 18, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

What about the money that AIG gave to the investment banks; what did those investment banks do with the money? They're all corrupt. Meanwhile, let's not forget about what is taking place with the mortgage bailout money... more corrupt individuals short selling their homes to families and friends... while they have the funds locked away in savings to sustain that purchase. Incredible. During the campaign, I heard several comments that not all of wall street is corrupt and that not all of Congress is corrupt. Who on Wall Street is not corrupt; who is holding the majority of Wall Street accountable. Obama cannot get a full cabinet approved because the majority of government is corrupt. Who is holding Congress accountable? Congress: your approval rating will go up if you hold all businesses accountable by the same standards that all Americans are legally bound... but, first, you must hold yourselves accountable by those same standards. Know this, Congress: Americans disapprove of you because Americans knew that this BS was taking place, and Americans knew that you were a part of it... for years. While you spent the majority of your time harping on steroids in baseball, our economy was being flushed down the toilet by the banks. Priorities folks... get your stinking priorities in order... once and for all. Straighten up.... and listen to the Americans... for once... just spend somme time listening. Don't listen today... and spank AIG... and then turn a deaf ear tomorrow. DO THE JOB YOU WERE ELECTED TO DO... EVERY DAY. PLEASE, PLEASE... GOVERN BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE. YOU'RE JUST AS GUILTY AS WALL STREET, AIG, AND THE REST OF THE BANKS. PLEASE, WE'RE BEGGING YOU... LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE.

Posted by: tony_lisa | March 18, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting that Northrop Grumman and Unisys and other Defense contracting companies are forcing long term employess and vendors to take pricing, salary and benefit cuts.

Some of these employees that are working for these super large defense companies. Their original company has been sold 5 times.

The New Presidents are very disengenous and causing hard feelings. Expecially all those who worked many hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime.

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | March 18, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

With subtle politics, Pres. Obama just created a blood thirsty LYNCH MOB by deflecting rage at the current AIG management for the financial ills of the entire world.

Did not our government wear blinders while all of this was happening?

Where was the SEC in all this? Maybe the posse should be chasing Mister George Bush and Company for looting the US Treasury.

We're after the wrong guys.

Posted by: mymymichl | March 18, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys, isn't our government really great at handling bailouts? Wow, with a record like this, we just need to do more and more bailouts. Wasn't it brilliant that we chose to bail these guys out rather than let them go through bankruptcy proceedings and see trash like this get dumped? The government is doing such a better job than the bankruptcy proceeding. Why we are wasting billions upon billions of dollars keeping businesses that should not be in business afloat. Isn't it exciting discovering for the first time that when the government handles large batches of money, there tends to be waste fraud and abuse and a whole lot of regulation to safe guard money? It is really great that Obama has discovered this truth for all of us to learn, right? So just keep your anger fixated on AIG execs, and don't pay attention to that president and congressman behind the curtain. You will obey. Income redistribution is good. You will obey.

Posted by: Wiggan | March 18, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

President Obama should not ask AIG to return their bonuses. The money would only go back to the firm which may be used again to pay the staff later on. The President should tax them 100% so that the money would go back to the government. President Obama should demand immediate overhaul of the board of directors and replace the current members now that the Government owns 85% of AIG. He needs to act real FAST.

Posted by: 2bchef | March 18, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Oh Puhleez. Give me a break. Did you people actually watch this farce? The intellectually dense Representatives sitting up there questioning and using stupid innuendo, beating up on a man who is giving his time to try and salvage this corporation. Every decision he has made may not be right but I understood his intention from his opening statement. The people who were running AIG and were responsible for it's failure have been dismissed. The remaining people who were retained were hired with a contract that included retention bonuses for staying with a failing division and bringing it to a economically good closing without bringing down a whole corporation. Mr. Liddy chose to honor those bonuses when these divisions were successfully closed rather than having people walk out and the corporation fail taking our billions with it. He was balancing the risk of spending the millions on bonuses against losing trillions. These are not performance bonuses, of which he says none have been paid, these were retention only contracted bonuses. They only went to people who could bring their divisions to a successful completion and then leave the company.

I know it is hard to understand for people who don't deal in those types of salaries but I do understand what Mr. Liddy is trying to accomplish and I want him to be successful. I want him to be able to make the company profitable again so that AIG can pay the American people back their taxes. At least those will be monies we won't have to worry about being in the deficit.

As for those stupid politicians, especially Mr. Stephen Lynch and Barney Frank they are making fools of themselves. They are so busy posturing for the camera they can't seem to make good sense. Lynch never did understand the employment contract he was reading from was not about retention bonuses and idiotically tried to blame Mr. Liddy personally for the contracts which were written before he arrived at AIG. Mr. Liddy has more patience than I do, personally I would have left him talking to himself. Barney Frank was so busy posturing that he was trying to bully Liddy into revealing the names of the recipients of the bonuses even after he was informed they were receiving death threats.

I for one don't care what kind of bonuses these people get, the only thing that concerns me is that Mr. Liddy makes AIG profitable so that we get our billions back.

The media is the main reason everything gets so blown out of proportion.
They are trying their best to find a scapegoat for everything that happens everyday. If they can't find any news they make it.

Posted by: MaggiePi | March 18, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Please keep in mind that AIG conducts its business the same way as every other large corporation out there. We need to be pro active instead of reactive. We need to reign in the income disparity between workers and executives.
Unrestrained consolidation of wealth is the real reason for our financial woes. We need to find a way to reward companies with low exec to worker pay ratios, and punish businesses with large differences in pay. If we don't, this will keep happening until we're in a severe depression.
http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2008/03/17/1928-resemblances/

Posted by: rooster54 | March 18, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm,
There was a time not so long ago that I would be stomping around raving as my poor wife kept asking me not to watch C-Span all day long. I have never been one to think about political parties as being one better than another nor of race being evident in all the people of any given racial grouping.
That changed not to long ago because I learned what the IMF, Fed, Treasury etc. are actually about and how this all started from the days of the Bank of England paying a guy to report early as to the outcome of Napoleon til today. I say this to you as a suggestion, take it or leave it. I am in no way affiliated to these folks so this is just my opinion. But if you go to a website called kickthemallout.com they have a a set of Cd's called "The Money Masters". It enlightened me as well as others who have gone there.
At any rate it surely explains why we all engage in these petty little arguments that successfully misdirects our attention from that which is real.

Posted by: RetCombatVet | March 18, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, William Shakespeare first said kill all the lawyers. In todays economy, that would be paraphrased first kill all the MBA's. In Search of Excellence said the MBA is the gospel of the pseudo-professional. Let the roosters come home to roost and pull the plug on the paper shufflers. Shuffling paper is nice but not at the tune of music.

Posted by: virgin12 | March 18, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I think this whole debacle is absolutely disgusting. AIG is run by despicable, unethical individuals - much like our government during the last administration.

AIG execs should be forced to give back their "bonuses", which are nothing more than a gigantic rip-off and slap-in-the-face to American consumers that are truly suffering due to our economic depression.

I must say that the role models for selfishness, greed, deceit, and privileged entitlement in the Bush administration must have looked to AIG executives that their behavior should be sanctioned, as well.

This is one reason why we should have impeached both Bush and Cheney - to let people know that such egregious behavior will not be tolerated. Maybe President Obama will now think twice about bringing charges against that duplicitous duo.

Since Bush, Cheney, and other officials were allowed to steal from the poor and give to the rich, AIG executives probably never gave it a thought that what they were doing was wrong!

But it is wrong, and it is a wrong that needs to be rectified by complete restitution of bail-out funds by AIG. AIG should be responsible for paying that money back immediately, and furthermore, they should have their license to conduct business rescinded.

Shame, shame, shame. These executives deserve to be publicly named and humiliated, as well as give back money they didn't earn. After all, how good was their business ability when the company they ran had to be bailed out by the government?

Perhaps it's time to revisit the practice of putting wrongdoers in the "stocks", displayed for all to see in the public square.

Certainly, it is time for the rich to start adhering to the rules the rest of us must live by. They are not, after all, entitled to anything more.

Posted by: kentuckywoman | March 18, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

The Obama administration is being very naive in being so conciliatory as to hold no one responsible for the ABS scams that these financial institutions engineered.

Laws were surely broken, everyone knows it, and it is dismaying that the administration seems oblivious to it.

I am hearing daily now about local businesses that are failing and really good people who have lost their jobs, and it seems to me that the public's anger hasn't begun to peak. I know mine hasn't.

When it does, it needs a focus. Amid all this piracy, no criminal investigations have even been opened (unless you count whatever token gesture Andrew Cuomo is making). That the administration refuses to aggressively prosecute those who ran these ABS schemes invites frontier justice.

I think that if the Obama Administration does not pursue criminal indictments in this matter, and put some faces on the truly corrupt few, we will see citizens resorting to random violent acts. People who have been ruined by faceless, nameless, ruthless institutions when they played by the rules are the worst kind of mob.

Posted by: MiaRose | March 18, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

In his testimony, Liddy stated that Geithner was aware of the impending bonuses two weeks ago. This means that Obama and the entire congress had access to this information.

This whole AIG situation is a made up charade on the part of the Democrats. It is another attempt by them to create class envy among the general population. It is just another brick on the path to socialism.

This is the same congress who two weeks ago passed a budget with 8,000+ special earmarks. Are they really concerned about waste? No, it's an opportunity to create a false sense of responsiveness.

Throughout his campaign, Obama made a habit of crating a rift between the haves and the have nots. How much was made about Exxon making profits as if a corporation isn't in business to make money?

No, the goal is to create public support for limiting incomes of executives. It is socialism.

Obama can claim all he wants that he's not socialistic. However, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck.......

Posted by: jcyr4 | March 18, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

This all seems like a huge circus with our politicians like Stephen Lynch and Barney Franks strutting around like a bunch of roosters. I'm more outraged at our U.S. Congress for allowing this to happen. Now they want to take it another dangerous step further and write some new legislation to tax all of this bonus money... That's a big mistake that we will all regret.

How appalling to think that our government is making up the rules as they go along. I don't know if these bonuses are legit but I sure hope someone in our government does their homework before trying to take a U.S. citizens’ legitimately earned money away from them using bogus tax legislation. If these AIG employees earned the money, then I think they should stop being made out to be the-same-old “bad rich people” here. However, If they didn’t earn the money than utilize another way to get it back without writing a special tax law that could come back to haunt all of us.

I don’t know if anyone else out there read a NY Daily News online article that has two very scary quotes:

FIRST, "Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), head of the Joint Economic Committee, was drawing up one tax bill, and there were others being proposed.";

SECOND, "What is the highest excise tax we can impose that will stand up in court?" mused Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, lets find out."

These two quotes in that article should have all of us worried. Maybe we should think more about voting the people out of office who are responsible for these screw-ups before attacking hardworking citizens. I feel like I’m in a bad science fiction movie when I read some of the comments coming out of our elected officials.

We are supposed to be a FREE COUNTRY!! If these people legitimately earned their bonus then they have every right to keep it. Then, if THEY decide to share this money with others that's up to them. They should not be FORCED to give their money to anyone unless it was earned illegally. Yes the money should be subject to regular income tax but we should not allow our congress to start panicking and writing crazy tax laws or infuriating the public with half-truths which is just fueling the fire of class-wars. It's like a Salem Witch Hunt!

I really believe that the political hype over this AIG issue is being blown so out of proportion by politicians who want to keep citizens so infuriated at big corporations so no one is paying attention while our civil liberties are being stripped away on Capital Hill.

Posted by: twin4ever | March 18, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

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